Breaking Down the Volunteer Requirement

Volunteering is a key part of the IMSA experience | Source: Hills Elementary School

To graduate from IMSA, you need a total of two hundred volunteer hours at the end of your three years. This can be a daunting task for an incoming sophomore or a junior who has barely started. To ease some of your worries, this guide will break down the volunteer requirement, how it’s used at IMSA and some helpful tricks to get all two hundred hours in. 

The expectations for your two hundred hours of service are that at least thirty hours must be completed within IMSA, or internally, while at least seventy five hours must be completed externally. This requirement does not apply to the class of 2023, for whom it was removed due to COVID. To stay on track, the IMSA website recommends that students complete sixty-five hours by the end of a student’s sophomore year and one hundred by the end of a student’s third semester. These checkmark points help to make sure you’re on the right path to having all two hundred hours done by the spring of your senior year.

There will be check-ins through the years on how you are progressing to reach your goal. For example, to earn different privileges in the second semester as a sophomore like being able to get out of study hours and having a later in-room time, you will have to have a certain number of service hours. Also, this past school year, to participate in Clash of the Halls, each grade level had a unique requirement of how many hours they needed to have to be able to participate (25 for sophomores, 75 for juniors, and 150 for seniors). It is important to be able to get your volunteer hours in if you want to be able to participate in fun campus activities like these. 

IMSA starts your sophomore year with a Day of Service. This activity will allow you to gain two hours of service and begin your journey to getting volunteer hours done. Incoming sophomores are able to track volunteer hours that they completed starting July 1 their incoming year, however. 

The app that’s used to track your service hours is called Helper Helper. The best advice I can give you is that as soon as you are done volunteering, log it in the app. This will allow you to make sure you have all the information that you need and write your reflection while the experience is clear in your mind and help you not forget to do it later. 

IMSA offers many ways to get service hours internally including in your dorm through tutoring and through clubs. Some clubs will even hold events where they offer an opportunity for service hours. 

Overall, getting your volunteer hours can be a low stress activity as long as you commit yourself to completing them throughout the year internally, online, or during your extended breaks. Many IMSA students sign up for clubs that allow them to gain volunteer hours or volunteer at home during the summer break. Whatever way you choose to volunteer, just make sure it’s something you enjoy doing and is for a cause you want to help! 

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